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George Arthur was thinking Thursday about a police officer he knew as a kid, an officer everyone called "Red the Peanut Man." Arthur described him as a classic beat cop. He was stationed out of Buffalo's old Precinct Four, and he would walk every day – in rain, sun or snow – along what was the commercial heart of William Street. "Everyone knew Red," Arthur said. It turn…

Columns

It was not the destination a kid from Olcott expected. David Donovan is a longtime resident of the island of Vieques, part of Puerto Rico. Before he enlisted in the Navy, more than 40 years ago, Donovan's longest journey beyond Western New York was to Toronto. Things turned out in a way he could not envision. For that, Donovan credits the Navy — and the absolute symbol …

Gusto

"This time, it's personal." Yeah, yeah, you've no doubt heard that orotund threat before in movie trailers for the newest sequel to some action revenge movie starring Charles Bronson, Bruce Willis or Liam Neeson. Readjust your appetite for mayhem. I'm using it in a much milder and friendly context, suitable for the holiday season. Here is my wayward personal list of …

Columns

I've grown accustomed to writing farewell pieces over the past few years. We've lost so many of the greatest of the greats, and so often, we are collectively grieving, looking for a way to send our heroes off with a little gratitude for all they've given us, while simultaneously clinging to the illusion of closure as a balm for the soul. That's my impetus when writing such…

Buffalo

When "build it, and they will come" doesn’t apply, you try another approach: Grow your own by focusing on the folks already there. That means building around people like Jermaine Scott, who wants to open another car wash to complement the one his father operates at Jefferson Avenue and Broadway. Or like Angela Borden, who wants to expand the Angel Lights home decor busin…

Gusto

The results are in, and they land not with a bang, but a feeble whimper. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2018 inductees on Wednesday, and to the surprise of no one and the disgust of some, Bon Jovi leads the class. The Cars, the Moody Blues, Nina Simone, and Dire Straits also made the grade, and gospel-blues iconoclast Sister Rosetta Tharpe will receive the…

Bills

A group of Buffalo Bills are getting a lot of attention for pushing out many motorists Sunday who were jammed up in the snow, and Ruth Mendofik said it's absolutely justified. She was one of the drivers they helped. Mendofik's car became stuck as she tried to leave Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant in Blasdell with her 73-year-old father and her 12-year-old twin boys. It was th…

Gusto

"Christmas music is hip, Dad. These tunes have changes." I'll admit my son's words, uttered while he was home from college for Thanksgiving break, caught me off guard. Not because I disagreed with their sentiment – classic holiday tunes often marry indelible melodies to sophisticated chord changes. That's why so many jazz musicians have had so much fun with them over th…

Bills

Peggy Manning, a manager at Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant in Blasdell, worked a long day Sunday. She arrived around 10 a.m., and parked her Chevy Cruze not far from the front door. It was the holiday season, which always means more customers, and people showed up for several celebrations and parties despite a big snowstorm. Many of them kept asking about the score in a Buff…

Gusto

"Wisdom of the Crowd" is a goner, for those who didn't know. It will fulfill the rest of its 13 episodes on Sundays this month and then vanish. I want to say a few words in defense of the show, even though it's almost impossible -- just for fairness' sake. The reason for that is that at this moment, it's generally presumed to be close to indefensible. Nobody, it seem…

Columns

By Andrew M. Cuomo Special to The News Republicans in Congress said they were going to pass tax relief for the middle class, but they did the exact opposite. The GOP tax plan is a tax cut for corporations and the rich. While the topic is complicated, here is the inarguable fact: 50 percent of the tax cut goes to the wealthiest one percent of Americans. And it is paid f…

Business

Sometimes, the holiday season can pass us by in a blur. One minute you’re shopping for a Thanksgiving turkey, the next thing you know, you’re taking down your Christmas tree. But in between are many fleeting moments that you and your family can fill with seasonal fun. There’s no place more magical than Western New York when it comes to making lasting holiday memories. …

Columns

Elizabeth Marie Ortiz Olivencia pushed back the shades of the living room window a few days ago in her Black Rock neighborhood. A coating of snow, not even an inch of it, covered Rano Street and the small front yard of her home. It was nothing to most of us, a December dusting, but to Elizabeth it was miraculous, a revelation. It was the first time in her life that she …

Columns

Destiny Rogowski was greeted by one of her own photographs Thursday as she walked into the Ellicott Square Building. The downtown landmark had a magnificent tree in the middle of its grand arcade, with 26 photographs of children set in a circle around the base. The faces were somber, joyous, reflective, timid, reserved. They made up the Heart Gallery of Western New York…

Columns

WASHINGTON – Wish good luck to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council, representing Native Americans and Canadians along the New York/Canadian border. They have asked President Trump for an apology. They want this president of the United States to stop exploiting indigenous people, using them as props. The Mohawks were among those who protested Trump’s inviting a group of …